I found the Urantia Book when I was sixteen years old; I am 46 now, so that was 30 years ago, in 1975! I read it alone for many years, and eventually started a study group so I could share it with
I did not have a stable family life when I was younger. It was the cause of much tribulation. As a result of a near death experience, I realized there was no such thing as death, and that
there was something out there, but what that "something" was I did not know. So, at around the age of fifteen, I began an intense spiritual search. I started my search studying Buddhism. I thought that
esoteric practices were the way to enlightenment, and set out to find this experience for myself or perish trying. (Silly as it sounds now I was that intense.) After a couple experiences I quickly
learned that this was not the path to enlightenment, but was left with the question as to what was. I rejected the esoteric path, the popular "new age" pseudo-religious truth, and began in earnest to
study comparative religion to find the answer. Of course, all along, the truth was right inside me, but how does one communion with an Absolute It, or a vague "non-self." At one point I finally reached
the question, "Who is this person called Jesus?, and what did he really teach?" Of course, I had already rejected Christianity due to the absurdity of the atonement doctrine.
One day, while making
my periodic search of the bookstores for the latest scholarly works, I stumbled across The Urantia Book sitting on the shelf. I read the table of contents and my first thought was it was just another
piece of "new age" pseudo-religious garbage, but then my eyes fell upon a section in Part IV of the book, Paper 188, Section 4, entitled "MEANING OF THE DEATH ON THE CROSS." (188:4.0) I read it; I was stunned; I literally broke into tears. I purchased it and took it home to the little
migrant shack I was living in at the time (I was not living at home). I read that book all night long, and the next morning when I went to work at the local YMCA where I was teaching gymnastics, I had a
revelatory experience in the steam room while meditating on what I read the following evening.
It was in studying this book that the references to the indwelling divine mind I had been reading
about, which in Buddhism is called the 'Buddha mind' or 'true self,' in Islam is called the spirit of Allah, in the Judeo-Christian traditions is called the indwelling spirit of God or Christ, and in the
Bhagavad-Gita is termed the 'atman,' or 'inmost timeless self' which is at the same time Brahman, became personally and experientially real.
Prior to this experience I was attempting to meditate,
which I was learning through the Buddhist scriptures, but not to any great success. And prior to meditating I had experimented with attempting to use my mind to achieve astral projection, but had some
experiences that quickly taught me this was not an effective way to achieve spiritual growth.
At that point in my life my concept of God or Deity was of some great IT or impersonal Absolute, or
some mysterious 'non-self' reflected in Zen Buddhism. I had only vague inklings of what this thing called true self might be or how I might approach finding and experiencing for myself this
reality. In my religious studies I surely could see common threads of what I perceived to be truth running through them, but I didn't want to just intellectually know — I wanted to experience God
personally. But my dilemma was, how does one 'know' an impersonal Absolute, or realize one's 'non-self?' It was through concepts and teachings in The Urantia Book that this gulf between the idea
of an Absolute and a personal God of infinitely loving and divine parental affection was bridged and synthesized into one and the same reality. Of course now I see clearly that this dual concept of the
Divine is harbored in all the great traditions.
The next day, while meditating in the steam room as was my habit, and reflecting on what I had learned the night before regarding the indwelling
presence of the Adjuster and Jesus' Spirit of Truth, the simple truth of my faith sonship with God, and the joy of knowing salvation, for the first and only time I experienced the presence of a Light,
which I cannot really describe in words. It was not a presence outside of me, but within me. It's even funny, at first when I saw this light (not with my physical eyes) I clearly remember thinking it was
like staring into the sun, but only infinitely brighter. And then, not of my own doing, I was enveloped in this light, which I can only describe as the presence of the divine love of God. I don't have
words to describe what transpired. I don't know how long it was, or God forbid, what I looked like sitting there naked in the steam room communing with God, but when I opened my eyes I was overwhelmed
with this profound sense of peace and joy, even to the point that tears were streaming down my cheeks. Luckily, I was in a steam room so it was not too obvious. I went home immediately and searched the
various scriptures in my library for anything referencing light, and the following two statements I found to be particularly relevant to my experience:
The Koran has a most beautiful description of
what I experienced upon realizing this divine presence
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche
And within it a Lamp: The Lamp enclosed in Glass;
The glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree,
An Olive, neither of the East nor of the West,
Whose Oil is well-nigh
luminous, Though fire scare touched it:
Light upon Light!
The Urantia Book says the following about Thought Adjusters, which are characterized as a divine fragment of God which
indwells our mortal minds:
There is a characteristic light, a spirit luminosity, which accompanies this divine presence, and which has become generally associated with Thought
Adjusters.... this Paradise luminosity is widespreadly known as the "pilot light"; ... it is called the "light of life." ... this phenomenon has sometimes been referred to as that "true light which
lights every man who comes into the world." (Urantia Book 1181)
Also quoting The Urantia Book:
Most of the spectacular phenomena associated with so-called
religious conversions are entirely psychologic in nature, but now and then there do occur experiences which are also spiritual in origin. When the mental mobilization is absolutely total on any level of
the psychic upreach toward spirit attainment, when there exists perfection of the human motivation of loyalties to the divine idea, then there very often occurs a sudden down-grasp of the indwelling
spirit to synchronize with the concentrated and consecrated purpose of the superconscious mind of the believing mortal. And it is such experiences of unified intellectual and spiritual phenomena that
constitute the conversion which consists in factors over and above purely psychologic involvement. (Urantia Book 1099)
Over time, I have come to understand meditation to be an
attempt to achieve unbroken communion with the indwelling presence of God through balanced prayer and worship, and an inner dialogue with the divine presence. I also have found in my experience that
loving service brings one closer to God through actualizing divine love in our lives through wise service to one's fellows; I view them as two sides of the same coin. I understand this inner communion as
my attempt to attune my mortal mind to the indwelling divine mind of God (finding, realizing, and choosing to align my will with the divine will); to realize the spiritual values of truth, beauty, and
goodness, and to actualize them in my life. I think any sane and balanced practice, if it leads one to a closer relationship with God, is worthy of our attention. And I certainly will take a warm loving
hug any day, and find it easy to see God in the love and compassion of others.